Along with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple unveiled another key product today, a wearable device simply called the Apple Watch. In accordance with the smaller screen, controlling the device is enabled through the Digital Crown, which acts as the Home button. Twisting the hardware dial will allow the user to navigate menus, zoom into images and more. The Retina display, meanwhile, features Force Touch, which can tell the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access controls within apps.
Features include Smart Replies and dictation, enabling quick response to messages, and Handoff, allowing you to start a message on the Apple Watch and continue on the iPhone. A quick swipe activates Glances, showing important information like current location, stocks or the time of an impending meeting. Pressing the side button brings up Friends, for quick and easy contact with your favorite people, and Digital Touch allows you to send a sketch, gentle tap, an or audio message through Walkie Talkie.
Health and fitness is a key component of the Apple Watch, with built-in functionality including an accelerometer, heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone to provide a comprehensive picture of your daily activity. The Activity app measures three separate aspects of movement: calories burned, brisk activity and how often you stand up during the day. The Workout app provides goal-setting and pacing during popular session-based workouts, such as running and cycling. Finally, the companion Fitness app on iPhone collects the pertinent data so you can see your activity history in greater detail.
Apple custom-designed its own S1 SiP (System in Package) to miniaturize an entire computer architecture onto a single chip, with connectivity featuring Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair seamlessly with the iPhone. Those technologies will available in three separate collections: Apple Watch, with a polished or space black stainless steel case; Apple Watch Sport, with a space gray or silver anodized aluminum case; and Apple Watch Edition, with an 18-karat rose or yellow gold case. Each comes with a choice of exclusive straps.
Pricing starts at $350, with a launch date set for early 2015.